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Single rider stress

By |  July 21, 2020 0 Comments
GPS shows the routes 121 single-rider carts took in a single day at Mesa Verde CC. (Photo: Mesa Verde CC)

GPS shows the routes 121 single-rider carts took in a single day at Mesa Verde CC. (Photo: Mesa Verde CC)

A picture is worth a thousand words, says Matthew A. Marsh, director of golf course maintenance at Mesa Verde CC in Costa Mesa, Calif., but he’s never seen anything like the image of GPS lines made by the 121 carts that drove through the course on Sunday, June 13.

“The main issue with the image is, because of COVID-19, we’ve only been allowing single riders. We’ve pretty much doubled (the carts on the course),” he says. “Most of us were closed down for two months for the COVID-19 outbreak back in March, so coming out of that, every course was looking fantastic because you don’t have the cart traffic wear. We’ve been open for three or four weeks, but if you have a couple months of wear and use like that, naturally, you’re going to see a negative impact on turf.”

The image was taken using the GPS technology Visage, which allows users to see where carts have been driven. The club has the system set up on each of its Club Car golf carts.

While Mesa Verde doesn’t have cart paths all around the course, the cart paths that are in place are lined with stakes and ropes, and then there’s open area for people to drive.

However, Marsh says he would like to implement a gate system with two stakes on a fairway that direct carts to those gates. The team will then move those gates every day to spread out the wear pattern, so golfers aren’t beating down the same areas. The club is also considering an upgraded version of Visage, which sets restrictions on where people can and can’t drive by using a warning alarm that will go off in the cart. If the user doesn’t heed the warning, the cart will shut off.

Marsh also plans to educate his crew and membership on the importance of using the gate system.

“I’ll let golfers know that unless you adopt this program, we’re going to have a lot of wear and issues on the golf course,” he says.

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